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Abstract

The paper presents the state of fruit producers’ knowledge, as well as methods of EU support application under the various programmes available in both the period before and after Poland’s accession to the EU. Farmers, including gardeners, could apply for funding under the SAPARD programme already before the accession. These grants were the beginning of the support Poland received during this period. EU aid became applied on a large scale just after the accession. A large part of manufacturers began to apply for support i.a. under the Rural Development Programme for 2007–2013 (hereinafter RDP 2007–2013). The survey involved 103 fruit producers from the Grójec County, which is the area of greatest importance in the Polish fruit production. Nearly three quarters of the surveyed respondents claimed that they had benefi ted from the EU support. Those producers who benefi ted from the RDP 2007–2013, the granted funds in 63% invested in modernizing their farms. A lot of producers the received funds earmarked for the purchase of machines. Preferential loans also gained in popularity, especially those that could be applied for after disasters which had destroyed growers’ crops, e.g. spring ground frost, hail etc. 30% of respondents benefi ted from this type of support. It is worth emphasising that almost three quarters of the respondents obtained assistance in making applications from private companies, and not from the state institutions. The biggest obstacle encountered by the producers when applying for EU funds, was the intricate procedure in fi lling in the applications.

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